‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’ is what you’d expect
Augie Collins | Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Returning under the moniker of “The Last Shadow Puppets” with a Bowie-inspired collaboration are the likes of the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner and the Rascals’ Miles Kane, combining their talents to fuel their latest record “Everything You’ve Come to Expect.” After a staggering eight-year stretch since they put out their well-received debut “The Age of the Understatement,” Turner and Kane return with a compilation of songs that dons the guise of a side project, but houses all of the qualities to pack the punch of a full-fledged album.
After the release of “The Age of the Understatement,” it did not appear likely that the Last Shadow Puppets would be producing much more in the near future. At the time, the Arctic Monkeys were quickly ascending the stairs to stardom, playing sold-out shows across the country. However, Kane remained hopeful for the possibility of a reunion, and in 2014 such hopes were realized upon the hiatus of the Arctic Monkeys.
Something about “Everything You’ve Come to Expect” feels as if Turner and Kane simply deduced the formula for a hit album, and voila, out popped a record that is exactly what we would expect from the duo. Which is, well, great. The album does not feel forced, or as if the two felt that they were obligated to return to the side project that had started to collect dust in the corner. Turner begins to step out of his usual Arctic Monkeys persona, and that’s exactly what garnered their first album praise. The Arctic Monkeys have proven themselves to be stars of the alternative rock scene, but the question remained whether Turner could prove himself on a different front. So far he’s not leaving much room for doubt.
With drummer James Ford and string arranger Owen Pallet, the album pumps out a variety of ever-changing tunes. This includes the up-beat and chaotic single “Bad Habits,” where Kane’s howling voice churns out verses over the sound of violins playing madly in the background. Toning it down in the soft and swaying “Dream Synopsis,” Turner takes us into the inner realms of his subconscious, as he laments, “Isn’t it boring when I talk about my dreams?” though he knows we are far from being lulled to sleep, and instead, eager to hear more.
Overall, the Last Shadow Puppets succeed in producing a piece of art that is every bit as original and thought-provoking as their last effort. “Everything You’ve Come to Expect” does not spoil as the track listing progresses, but instead gets better and better, providing an enthralling 40 minutes that will lead your cursor back to the play button as soon as the album comes to a close. Let’s all hope this isn’t the premature swan song of a duo that holds the potential to grow and solidify themselves as a top-of-the-line act in the alternative rock scene.
Tracks: “Dream Synopsis,” “Miracle Aligner,” “Everything You’ve Come to Expect”
If You Like: The Arctic Monkeys, The Fratellis, Kaiser Chiefs